Wednesday is for Prayer
His cousin and probably boyhood buddy had been imprisoned. But the fact of his imprisonment did not diminish that among men born of women, he was an extraordinary man. Jesus called John the Baptist, the greatest man ever born in Matthew 11:11. But now news has come that his cousin, buddy, greatest man ever born is dead, beheaded on the whim of a girl who thought it would please her adulterous and idol worshiping mother.
Think about it. I know. Jesus is God. But he is human too. We call it the hypostatic union in theology. The union of two natures in one divine person.(For a good essay on the doctrine see Bibliotheca Sacra.Vol 92 #367—Jul 1935). But I don’t want to focus on that right now.
I want to focus our attention on the humanity of the scene. John is dead and Jesus loved him and He does something very human–he withdraws to be by Himself.
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.” (Matthew 14:13a)
Understandable. If I had just lost one of my boyhood buddies, one of my closest friends, one of the men I most admired in my life—for me, I think of losing one of my four brothers all of whom I admire and greatly love, but maybe especially my brother Karl who is just 18 months younger and with whom I did virtually everything growing up–I would want to be alone and grieve and weep and remember and cry out to God for consolation. That’s what I would want. And that’s what Jesus sought, but he didn’t have it very long. The second half of the verse tells us what happened next.
“. . . But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. And when he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:13b-14)
The servants of God are called to serve no matter what is going on in their personal lives. In addition to mentoring men, training church planters and all the other sundry things that are the joy of my life in this season of life, I have begun to help a church in Watseka, IL begin to wrestle with transitions of losing a senior pastor, a youth pastor, as well as numerous other missing people with diminished energy and all the tension that this perfect storm of transitions can produce in a rural town in a slowed economy.
Would you pray for me, that like Jesus, I might help to bring some healing to its staff, elders and congregation. Pray that I would be like Jesus. Pray that I would be a light pointing them to the One who is more (so much more) than they need. Pray that I would be an arrow pointing toward heaven.